And The Rowdism Continues...


By Neeraj Shinde
Bangalore, India

It’s not even a year passed with the rowdy bus conductor episode I’d encountered with one of the bus conductors in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport, NMMT. Actually, I always wanted to include the whole story of this rowdy bus conductor in my Blog. But, the newspaper stories spoke it all. I am whole-heartedly grateful to the Daily News & Analysis, DNA Team for placing the shocking incident that took place with me in the form of a good, social-awakening story in their news-paper.

But this is not what this post is all about. I am in Bangalore now and have not given up traveling in the local city buses. I usually prefer to travel in BMTC buses to and fro my office and home. And what I’ve noticed is that the bus conductors are smarter than the ones in Mumbai. They have developed a unique way to earn some extra income in their profession.

Well, let me explain this. A bus conductor deferring the return of the money to the passengers due to unavailability of change is not at all new to most of us. I think this must be common to all the places around India. Most of us forget to ask back and forget the money thus, leaving the bus conductor with a profit for which he is knowingly or unknowingly waiting for. The money goes to his pocket; doubtless! This is a common phenomenon and I don’t feel a need to blame the bus conductors here. But certainly, if conductors are denying returning your money immediately despite having enough change then it’s for sure he deserves blame.

The recent bus conductors I met here in Bangalore are further smarter. This is how it goes! Everyday I travel from JP Nagar to Dairy circle in the local BMTC buses. It costs me Five rupees per journey. One fine day when I was on my return journey from my office, I gave a five rupee coin to the Bus conductor. Surprisingly, he gave me a Two rupee coin back. I wondered. Certainly, it’s surprising to discover that the bus fares had slashed down overnight Esp. in this age of inflation. I thought of asking him back to get a confirmation. He nodded and walked away murmuring some words in Kannada. But what was more important here was not the reduced fare, but the fact that I was not given a ticket. And by the time I could see this guy back, I’d got down from the bus. May be he forgot, I thought.

The story doesn’t end here. I was even more surprised when I met another conductor probably, of the same species who gave me a Two rupee coin back and sneaked away without giving me a ticket. I resisted and this time asked for a ticket. Initially, my words were ignored but later considered when I insisted. He asked me back for the Two rupee coin upon which I got a ticket issued. The story was now making some sense. Passengers have an option of traveling a distance worth Five bucks by either paying the entire cost, getting a ticket issued or by paying just Three bucks without a ticket. Smart, isn’t it? This principle is based on ‘mutual co-ordination’ in which the bus conductor earns a couple of rupees more per passenger whereas, the passenger saves a couple of bucks per journey. And this works very well if the passenger is traveling for short distances. Believe me! On the contrary to the mutual co-ordination principle, the conductor would not bother to pay you back your ill-deserved Two rupees if you seem to be very naïve or non-resident of the city. That makes the conductor further richer by Two rupees. Who the heck bothers about BMTC? Seriously, bus conductors of the other cities have lot more to learn from these.

No matter it’s very hard to sustain such instances in our day to day life. Most of the times it makes sense to ignore such occurrences instead of quibbling over things you don’t have your control upon. Esp. when we are aware that there’s lots more happening above mere bus conductors and drives; I prefer not to name them. Still I wish I would have fought here, bringing this clandestine to light; but I don’t want to get featured in the newspaper headlines, again. :(


  1. same thing happens all over... India!

    I'm proud of you for standing against such misbehaving public servants!

  2. hi nee!
    it is everywhere dude... i think BEST is our mumbai BEST buses...

    they wud give u ticket and exact change....even if a over crowded bus..

    dude i keep on loving this city

    YJ here!!

  3. hi buddy
    In the country where very thing right from central government to local nukkad committee works on "little adjustments" and some "laen daen" it is not surprising to hear this. Anyways its great that you are standing up against such misbehaving public servants. Keep it up . And lets make it part of us to voice against such behaviors